Back – guess where?! – on Monday – Londonderry, as there is a fast flowing river of people, from both sides of the ‘divide’, to pray for… and loads of testimonies coming back from people already prayed for. That’s such a blessing….to hear the stories from people who’s lives have changed because of a prayer from ministry’s Rodney Trotter (!! moi!!), and because of a direct intervention and touch from the Living God….
Jason (blog, 6 July), who’s healing was so instant and spectacular (and testicular!!) had been told he’d have whatever district nurses are called now, calling every day for up to 8 weeks, to ‘unpack’ and ‘repack’ his wound… they called the next day, checked his surgery, and said they’d come once more in a few days, and then that’d be it….he was scheduled to off work until mid-late August: he’s going back to work next Monday!
Hilary had on previous visits been healed of cancer: she’d got a terribly painful and hugely swollen right leg – resultant back pain from the leg issues. All the pain went, and it was remarkable to actually WATCH the leg swelling going down! Her brother, Noel, came – not expecting prayer! – but when asked if he had any sickness or pain, soon got some! Long term intense back pain from – if I recall – a car crash years ago – went immediately, and life-long gout pain went instantly. I used to have gout – sadly not because of an excess of Port! – and it’s excruciating.
Again, I could catalogue the people and problems, but what I will say, rather than do that, is that God is pouring out something very special over Londonderry and Limavady, particularly – and far from tailing off, it really is gathering pace. I’ve read of the move of God in Reading, with lots of people getting saved: in a way, I hope this move of God in Derry DOESN’T make the Christian news, as often, when publicity comes, all sorts of people come out of the woodwork, and it can often signal the end of God moving….
I’m very conscious, already, of the enemy beginning to send ‘time-wasters’ for prayer: people who come without any desire to be healed, though saying all the right things, and who take up time, emotion, energy – and I’m asking God for more and more wisdom in order to ‘root’ them out quickly. You’d be surprised – unless you’re one of them!! – at the number of people who respond in meetings, or come to get prayer in the sort of setting currently in Derry, who don’t want to be healed. Some, yes, need sympathy, empathy, and attention: but that’s not why God pours out his healing spirit. Those issues are pastoral, but even then, attention-seekers are incredibly draining. Some of you will know of story I tell of three wheelchair-bound men in a church, all stroke victims, all relatively young (38-46 years)… the first two both wanted healing, without doubt, both responded to the challenge ‘What do you want God to do for you?’ with ‘I want to be out of this chair!’. Both, without further encouragement, began to move their ‘stationary’ left arm, put it on the arm of their chair, and got up… walked out of the church. The third, who was the youngest, when I asked him the same question, responded with, ‘What will happen to my benefits if I get out of this wheelchair?’…. tragically, he didn’t want God to heal him as he didn’t want to lose his benefits, yet he’d come up for prayer – for healing.
As someone who prays for healing, I have to live with the fact that people in the church probably left the meeting feeling that ‘he succeeded with the first two, but failed with the third one’ – when the reality of that man going home in his wheelchair, was that he didn’t want to be healed, and was just a time-waster. Emotionally, he drained me, brought sadness, disappointment, and – for a time – a feeling that I’d failed to persuade him that LIFE was better than a future in a wheelchair.
Lastly, on Monday evening, we saw Dean, who I first met in the Royal Hospital, Belfast, in March, two weeks after he’d had a terrible accident while in a motorbike scrambling race. He’d severed his spine, ruptured a lung and bowel, and had been told he’d never walk again. He’s still receiving physio, but he’s walking: that day in March, he got feeling in his foot and ankle, that he’d not had… his sister was there, shed got an as-then un-diagnosed tumour in her brain, and was really worried. The tumour had gone by the time the diagnosis needed to be made! God is so good, so amazing, so powerful, and so gracious….